Joanna Katherine McClendon was born on October 12 at 2:51 p.m., weighing exactly one pound and going to be with Jesus less than an hour later.
God knew what would happen next. He knew every day of my life before I was even born! And He knew that neither the cerclage nor the medications would stop my labor, that I would suffer from pulmonary edema, that the doctor’s would decide to break my water and move forward with the next delivery…and he knew that little Rita Elizabeth would be born exactly 2 days, 10 hours, and 38 minutes after her sister.
Rita, weighing just a little more than her older sister, joined Joanna to be with Jesus just a couple of hours later.
Later that morning, I was transferred to the ICU for a few hours of safe-watching, and then transferred again to a regular room. My last two days in the hospital were a true blessing from God in the midst of tragedy. My absolute favorite people gathered in my hospital room, sometimes two at a time, sometimes 10 or 12! And those precious people, through the grace of God, helped me recover from those unimaginable circumstances. We laughed. We watched football (Roll Tide). We talked and talked and talked.
I’m so thankful for so many things that week. God’s provision in this trying time still amazes me.
I’m thankful that I was with my husband that particular weekend, at that particular time and place. God knew what we needed and placed us in just the right circumstances to receive.
I’m thankful for my family and friends, who came and gave support and prayers throughout that week. I’m thankful that they got to see and hold my precious girls, to share in my joy.
I’m thankful for the hundreds of people all around the world praying for my girls, my family, and me.
I’m thankful for the access to scriptures to read and for those who read to me.
I’m thankful (immensely so) for the incredible doctors and nurses that took care of me and my babies. I will never forget their kindness and compassion.
I'm ever so thankful to God who blessed me with a wonderful, Godly husband. He was an amazing dad, too.
I wish I could say that I understand why this happened. But I can’t. I don’t understand how two precious young lives could be taken with no explanation, nothing “wrong”. I don’t understand how I could lose this pregnancy – my first after trying for over 2 years. I don’t understand why the prayers of hundreds for a miracle were answered with a “no”.
I don’t understand it, but I accept it. Because God is who He says He is. He is love.
Every day I think about what God wants me to do now. Now that I’m no longer a mother, no longer a teacher. And he reminds me that I am still and will always be HIS.
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."